CHOW #199 – Creating Safe environment for your team

Payel is a Scrum master and has been coaching a team for almost three months. She has been able to implement agile practices and do it well, mostly. In Retrospective meetings, she was able to get people to talk about what went well and what did not go well. But most of the feedback was around technical stuff such as the UAT environment was not ready. Even though it is a great start, she could not get people to open up on sensitive issues that have been hampering the team.

She was told that the group is not feeling safe, and hence they are not opening up in the retrospective. She was recommended to share some vulnerable moments in the meetings and ask if they would like to volunteer. Now she has a slot called “ öops” moment where team members can share their oops moments.

She has been sharing oops moments, but still, she cannot get them open up. Sometimes she feels that she is the only one talking. What are some tips that we can recommend to Payel to create a safe environment for the team?

Solution for CHOW 197: Creating a safety net

Psychological safety is a vast topic, and there might be various ways to get there with enough patience. But the likelihood that people will jump onto these tactics without leadership ‘going first’ is dramatically low. Here is what I would propose to Payel – 

Get leaders to,

1) over-communicate the vision and our (target)-culture

2) supplying lively examples of behavior that promote this culture through anecdotes (storytelling).

3) Combine those with whatever tactics/incentives we choose and celebrate the individuals who are applying this.

4) Have a few first-followers, who are briefed before the session to showcase the ‘right’ behavior as ‘culture champions’ and celebrate/reward them accordingly

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